CRAIG Davies admits Wigan Athletic are having to to do it tough this season to cope with opposition sides who are going above and beyond to beat them.
Latics get their FA Cup campaign up and running this afternoon when they make the short trip across Greater Manchester to face Bury.
The noises from Gigg Lane this week suggest the Shakers are giving the game the cup final treatment, in terms of importance and significance.
And Davies - who played under Bury boss David Flitcroft during their Barnsley days - says Latics have got used to being seen as the side to beat in League One.
“Bury are going to be up for the game as will we,” Davies told the Evening Post.
“I know their manager really well, and I know he’ll be up for it massively.
“To be honest, most teams are well up for the game when they’re playing Wigan.
“We’re finding teams are raising their game 10 or even 15 per cent against us, especially at our stadium.
“With it being the cup Bury will be fancying it, but our manager and staff will be making sure there’s no complacency in the camp and keeping us on our toes.”
Latics have got used to having to dig deep for their results, having put together a 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Their latest triumph, a last-gasp win over Swindon last weekend, meant they signed off league combat in fifth spot in the table - ahead of the sixth-placed Shakers on goal difference.
“We’ve been getting pretty used to the habit of winning lately,” Davies acknowledged.
“As a squad and a team we’ve been doing well and long may that continue.
“I thought Swindon showed they were a good side on Saturday, regardless of where they are in the table.
“I thought it was a good game to watch and be involved in, and for us to win it right at the end was fantastic.
“There’s no better time to win a game - the lads were absolutely buzzing and it gives us all another huge boost.”
After a patchy start, Latics have finally found their feet - and producing the kind of results expected of them before the campaign began.
“At the beginning of the season, there were so many new players here as well as a new manager, the first month or two was always going to be tough,” Davies admitted.
“It’s started to come together in the last few weeks, but we have been grinding out results as well as winning with style - which is massive.
“We’ve proved the character in the camp by winning games from losing positions and that’s something we’re looking to continue.
Burty have already knocked Latics out of one cup competition this term, following a 2-1 victory in the Capital One Cup back in August.
However, Latics were able to fight back from 2-0 down to secure a 2-2 draw in the league game at Gigg Lane last month.
And Davies points to his side’s never-say-die spirit as added reason for Bury to fear them this afternoon.
“I think everyone will know by now about the character in the camp - you can see that from the results over the course of the season,” he added.
“Even the game at Port Vale (in September) - the last game we lost - realistically we should have at least held out for a draw if not the win.
“We’d done the hard part and got back into the game when we were dead and buried - just as we’d done at Chesterfield the previous week - and we’ve also done it at Bury when we could have pushed on for the win.
“We’ve shown we’re capable of coming back from losing positions, and Bury will know that even if they get into a winning position then the game is never over until the final whistle.”